Research Article

Genetic effect of the prolactin receptor gene on egg production traits in chickens

Published: December 17, 2012
Genet. Mol. Res. 11 (4) : 4307-4315 DOI: 10.4238/2012.October.2.1

Abstract

The identification and utilization of potential candidate genes with significant effects on economically important traits have become increasingly important in poultry breeding programs. The prolactin (PRLR) receptor is a specific receptor for prolactin, which is an anterior pituitary peptide hormone involved in various physiological activities and is essential for reproductive success. In chickens, the PRLR gene resides on the Z chromosome. We used a pooled DNA sequencing approach for identifying SNPs of the PRLR gene. Three hundred and nine-six Erlang Mountainous chicken hens were genotyped for six SNPs using PCR-SSCP and PCR-sequencing methods; the association with chicken egg production traits was studied using general linear model procedures. Three linked SNPs (G14952A, A14969C and G14984A) at the P1 locus, two linked SNPs (G17560A and T17626A) at the P2 locus, and one SNP (T20868C) at the P3 locus were identified. Eight haplotypes were reconstructed on the basis of the six SNPs. The general linear model analysis indicated that there were significant associations of certain genotypes and haplotypes with some egg production traits. We conclude that chicken PRLR gene polymorphisms are associated with egg production traits and have potential as molecular markers for chicken breeding.

The identification and utilization of potential candidate genes with significant effects on economically important traits have become increasingly important in poultry breeding programs. The prolactin (PRLR) receptor is a specific receptor for prolactin, which is an anterior pituitary peptide hormone involved in various physiological activities and is essential for reproductive success. In chickens, the PRLR gene resides on the Z chromosome. We used a pooled DNA sequencing approach for identifying SNPs of the PRLR gene. Three hundred and nine-six Erlang Mountainous chicken hens were genotyped for six SNPs using PCR-SSCP and PCR-sequencing methods; the association with chicken egg production traits was studied using general linear model procedures. Three linked SNPs (G14952A, A14969C and G14984A) at the P1 locus, two linked SNPs (G17560A and T17626A) at the P2 locus, and one SNP (T20868C) at the P3 locus were identified. Eight haplotypes were reconstructed on the basis of the six SNPs. The general linear model analysis indicated that there were significant associations of certain genotypes and haplotypes with some egg production traits. We conclude that chicken PRLR gene polymorphisms are associated with egg production traits and have potential as molecular markers for chicken breeding.